Srinagar’s looming garbage disposal crisis

Srinagar’s looming garbage disposal crisis

SRINAGAR: Srinagar may face an even worse crisis of garbage disposal as the current land-fill site at Achin has just four months left in its life-span. And the problem is that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has not submitted a consent certificate to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to get its nod to begin work on another land-fill site.
The ADB, which is supposed to finance the construction of another land-fill site, had asked the SMC to give in writing that it will segregate solid waste material at source, failing which the bank will not fund the project.
The Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), the executing body for implementing ADB projects in the Valley, told Kashmir Reader that though the ADB bank has sanctioned Rs 19 crore for the construction, work could not be started as the SMC has not submitted the consent letter.
“The SMC had to submit the letter a week ago, but it did not do so for reasons better known to them. This delay will create problems for the SMC,” Director ERA Basharat Ahmad said.
On his part, SMC Commissioner Showkat Ahmad Zargar told Kashmir Reader that the SMC had to get professionals from outside the state to train SMC staff on how to segregate waste material at source. “Our staff is not trained to segregate the waste. We had to hire team from outside to train them. That has been started and the construction will begin soon,” Zargar said.
Whether construction on the site will start in the coming days or months, a crisis of managing 500 metric tons of waste every day is looming for the SMC.
“We don’t know when the construction will start. But let us assume that it starts tomorrow. The construction will take eight months. That means the SMC has to manage an alternative to dispose of waste material at least for four months. Srinagar generates, on average, 500 metric tons of garbage every day. It will be a big task for them,” said Basharat.
Zargar acknowledged such a crisis is looming, but added that he had certain limits. “I have taken over the SMC a month ago. The work on the site should have started before my stint. But anyway, this is my first priority. I will try to do as much I can. Initially, the SMC will train three wards to convince the ADB. Other areas would be taken after that,” he said.